10th National Park Service Director William J. Whalen

July 5, 1977 - May 13, 1980

Portrait of William J. Whalen
William J. Whalen

William J. Whalen joined the NPS in 1965 as a Job Corps counselor and advanced to posts in National Capital Parks and Yosemite before becoming superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972. His experience in the burgeoning urban parks field contributed to his appointment as director in July 1977, yet the most significant event of his tenure was President Jimmy Carter's proclamation of much Alaska wilderness as national monuments in 1978, doubling the acreage under NPS jurisdiction. Friction with park concessioners led to congressional calls for Whalen's removal in 1980, and Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus returned him to Golden Gate. He left the NPS in 1983. Bill Wahlen died in 2006.